This book offers a new archipelagic history of 20th-century literature in Britain and Ireland. Archipelagic Modernism examines the anglophone literatures of the archipelago from 1890 to 1970 for what they tell us about changing identities, geographies, and ecologies. The book argues that these literatures constitute an important resource for how we might begin to think about alternative political geographies, and alternative practices of belonging to place and environment. From the height of the British Empire in 1890, to the increasing sense by 1970 of the imminent 'break-up' of Britain, 'archipelagic modernism' turned to the 'peripheral' spaces of islands, coastlines, and the sea to re-invent the Irish and British archipelago as a plural and connective space. It questions established terms such as 'Modernism' or 'the Angry Young Men' and explores new terms such as 'critical realism' and literary developments such as 'the Scottish New Wave'. Divided into 2 historical parts, 12 chapters take readers progressively from 'Edwardian Idylls' to 'Contemporary Women's Writing'.
It takes the study of 20th-century literature into the 21st century providing a single volume treatment of the distinct national literary traditions of the British Isles. It provides students with a provocative revisionist approach and in-depth coverage.